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Modern Foreign Languages

Ms Mitchell - Trust Lead for MFL

 Modern Foreign Languages

Hello, and a warm welcome to the languages department at Colne Park High School.  At Park High School students have the opportunity to learn French and Mandarin.

We place a very high value on language learning and developing cultural awareness. We are an incredibly dedicated department, committed to ensuring every child achieves the best possible outcomes in language learning throughout their time here. We teach high quality, ambitious lessons that enable students to develop their understanding of phonics, vocabulary and grammar whilst also developing their listening, reading, writing, speaking and translation skills and broadening students’ horizons.


Our vision is to inspire all students to see the value in learning a Modern Foreign Language; to develop students who have a love of language learning and to enable students to reach high levels of academic achievement. We aim to challenge students to use language creatively and spontaneously and to develop their cognitive and communication skills. We also endeavour to encourage students to explore the world and have an appetite to experience different cultures. Our vision is to provide a curriculum model that is deeply rooted in the concept that the curriculum is knowing more and remembering more.


The overall aim of the curriculum is to ensure that students gain the essential knowledge for MFL (French/Mandarin) so that students can communicate effectively in the target language. Essential knowledge in MFL is vocabulary, phonics and grammar and our curriculum is carefully planned around the progression of these ‘3 pillars’ of knowledge. Students have the opportunity to go from novice to expert language learners over the five year course for French and across KS2, KS3 and KS4 in Mandarin. As language becomes more automised students can produce more detailed and accurate responses manipulating language to narrate events and say something new.

Students will also develop ‘cultural capital’ by having an awareness of other cultures such as French cultures, the French speaking world and Chinese culture through exposure to authentic materials such as leaflets, news articles, videos, and literary texts. 

The 3 pillars; phonics, vocabulary and grammar are reinforced throughout the entire curriculum through extensive planned practise within the skill areas of listening, speaking (spontaneously), reading, writing and translation. Students build up the essential knowledge required to communicate about a range of age-appropriate topic areas. Students are encouraged to use target language as the main means of communication as frequently as is appropriate. Our intent is based on the core guiding principles as outlined in the National Curriculum Programme of Study for MFL.

Our MFL curriculum is designed in a way that allows pupils to reflect on their own progress overtime whilst reinforcing students’ awareness of SMSC, careers and academic language as per the school’s rich broadening horizons agenda. Whilst our curriculum reflects the presence of languages in the local area; we also place importance on opening students’ eyes to the wider world. Topics are studied within the context of the students’ home country and that of the countries and communities where French and Mandarin are spoken.


Year 7 Intent

During year 7 French we acknowledge and build on the varying MFL subject knowledge content that students have gained (or not) at KS2. Students are introduced to vocabulary, phonics and grammar and learn how to describe details about themselves, using the present tense, their family and pets, school life, their likes, and dislikes, where they live and their daily routines, the sports and games they play and do and their future plans.  To ensure the year 7 curriculum is as ambitious as possible, some students may also secure knowledge in how to refer to past events, however, the key tense focus of the year 7 curriculum is to learn high frequency present tense verbs and language such as opinion phrases and connectives that will form the foundation on which to build greater complexity of language.

Year 8 Intent

During year 8 French students build on the core language pillars (phonics, vocabulary, and grammar) that students learnt during KS2 and year 7. Students are taught how to form the past tense, use simple negatives and revisit and add to the high frequency infinitives, present tense verbs and near future tense introduced in year 7, enabling students to be able to begin to refer to three time frames.  Students learn high frequency imperfect verbs to enable them to describe past events in more detail. Students study a range of topics in year 8: holidays, festivals, leisure activities, life at home and in their region and health and sports and develop an appreciation for authentic texts through a spooky stories lesson and an original French song. Year 8 also gives students the opportunity to practise transactional conversations.

Year 9 Intent

During year 9 students become more secure and confident in their language learning. Foundation and Higher pathways are created in year 9 to cater for the varying academic needs of students, whilst still offering a challenging curriculum for all students. Foundation year 9 students are able to refer to three time frames successfully and give opinions and reasons across a range of topics.  They will use modal verbs with increasing success to describe a range of topics; friends and family, future plans, music preferences, life when you were little, the environment and the French speaking world.  Higher year 9 students will be explicitly taught the simple future tense alongside the near future. All year 9 students are encouraged to use uncommon language, unfamiliar structures and narrate events, students are supported in this through the student progress booklets.

Year 10 & 11 Intent

Students use the essential knowledge gained in KS3 to become more confident language learners. There are two pathways; foundation and higher but students can move from one pathway to another informed by their target grade and their performance. Students are able to access longer texts and listen to longer extracts with increasing success.  Pronunciation will be sound and students will become confident in manipulating language to narrate events and communicate effectively.  Students cover a wide range of grammar, vocabulary, and phonics to enable them to communicate about a wide range of topics and stimuli to enable GCSE success. Students use structures and phrases that enable them to sound more unique and authentic. Students will speak spontaneously about a range of topics.

Mandarin Curriculum Map

10 week Mandarin Course  

French Curriculum Map




Years 7-9 French

There are standardised, interleaved half termly assessments which build up over time to give students the opportunity to show off the listening, reading, writing and speaking skills that they have developed over time.  We aim to develop students to become spontaneous speakers and therefore try to create a culture whereby French and Mandarin are used as much as possible to communicate in the classroom.

KS3 Mandarin

Students are assessed at the end of the 10 week course.


GCSE French

 Exam board: Edexcel

The GCSE course is taught through 5 themes - these are:

  1. Identity and culture
  2. Local area, holiday and travel
  3. School
  4. Future aspirations, study and work
  5. International and global dimension

All themes and topics are studied in the context of both the students’ home country and that of countries and communities where French is spoken.

GCSE French is assessed through four final exams which take place at the end of the course. 

  • 25% listening
  • 25% reading
  • 25% writing
  • 25% speaking

There are 2 tiers of entry – Foundation and Higher.  Foundation grades are 1-5 and Higher grades are 4-9.  We work hard to ensure that all students are entered for the correct tier and feel prepared.  Lots of support is provided to ensure students feel as confident as possible leading up to and during the exams.


The MFL department run a successful Year 8 French trip in the summer term every year.  This is a fabulous opportunity for students to practise their French skills and absorb a different culture. 

The school also run a long standing German Exchange and also a Chinese exchange.

July 2024 - German Exchange

July 2025 - French Trip